Wanda Garrity, left, Susan Rogers-Aregger and Cindy Chaponot start a pit fire to place their ceramic art pieces in. Raku is a Japanese style of glazing pottery originally used to decorate bowls and platters for the traditional Japanese tea ceremony. It involves glazing a ceramic work, baking it in a kiln to about 1,800 degrees, then removing it while glowing hot. Modern raku artists then place the work in a container with combustible material (local artists use a trash can filled with leaves or newspapers). The material bursts into flames and consumes the oxygen inside the container. This process, known as reduction, puts a metallic finish on the glaze.